“Time and space are at my back
Performing disappearing acts
Now I can escape the smell of smoke.”
Why do some people hold on to memories?
Are there personality differences which help some people erase memories quicker than others?
I believe neuroscience says that all moments or events do create memories- meaning traces or connections in the brain that can be recalled with differing effort depending on the how strong they are. What makes them strong are the number of times they are reinforced and the emotions associated with it. I hope I got that right!
I remember the Novel by Charles Dickens, “Great Expectations”, which was part of our school reading. One of the characters were the eccentric Ms. Havisham, who was ‘dumped’ on the day of her wedding and then decided that her life would end right then. She never took off her wedding dress, never again left the house and stopped all the clock. As a result of her choice, she spoiled the lives of many people, affected their personalities through her bitterness.
“Like a time machine rebuilds the past, our memories return
Like remembering the ashes before we burn.”- Atlas- Smell
What makes it so difficult to let go of painful memories? Is it as Freud says that pain and pleasure stimulate the same parts of the brain, hence are sought after equally? Would we seek to feel pain, by holding on to the memory of it?
At times it seems to be so, there seem to be so many people who cannot let go of painful memories. Who choose to recall all the events where they have been wronged, cheated, lied to, been taken advantage of.
If we have a choice, which I believe we do, what would life look like if we let go.
What if we chose to remember the pleasant moments?
The kindness that was shown to us unexpectedly.
The opportunities we undeservedly received.
The love that we received without paying back.
What if we look at our mistakes and treat them as learning points,
If we look at our foolishness and call them slips,
If we look at our embarrassment and call it humanity?
I believe it would make a difference in every single person you meet with each day,
It would make you a better person.
For every interaction you share with others creates a memory for them.
And you have the choice to choose!
What kind of a memory that is going to be.
For YOU and for THEM!
“Daylight, I must wait for the sunrise
I must think of a new life, and I mustn’t give in
When the dawn comes, tonight will be a memory too
And a new day will begin.”- Cats- Memories